Women’s Month is a time to honor all women for their contributions and strength that helps to keep families together. Celine Dion, a famous Canadian singer who has gained international acclaim, is a powerful woman who transforms society through her music. Even with all of the fame and success she has acquired through her hard work and talent, there is still something missing from her life: her husband, Rene Angelil, who passed away on January 14, 2016, from throat cancer.
Like so many other women who are single mothers, Dion must now raise her three sons by herself: 15-year-old Rene-Charles and her 5-year-old twins, Nelson and Eddy. Rene was not only a good father, but he was also a great husband to Celine Dion. According to a recent interview on Entertainment Tonight while Dion attended the red carpet premiere of Beauty and the Beast, the singer talked about how hard it is to make decisions without Rene. She recalled how she consulted Rene as to whether she should sing the theme song for the 1992 movie, Beauty and the Beast, and Rene said that it was fine. The duet that Dion sang with Peabo Bryson for Disney’s 1992 film became a No. 1 hit on the pop charts, winning both a Grammy as well as an Academy Award.
When Disney contacted Dion about singing a song for the 2017 film, titled “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” she could not say yes right away. She took some time to reflect since this was not a choice that she was making with Rene. She said that everyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one can relate to how she feels.
The relationship between Celine Dion and Rene Angelil started out as being strictly a professional one. When Dion was just 12-years-old, she wrote the song “Ce N’etait Qu’un Rêve” (It Was Only a Dream) and sent a recording of the song to Rene Angelil. Her mother and her brother both helped Dion record her song. When Angelil received the recording, he was so moved that he became her manager on the condition that he would have absolute dominance over her career.
In fact, Angelil believed so much in Dion’s potential to achieve stardom, in the music business, that he even mortgaged his own home to pay for her first album, La Voix du bon Dieu (The Voice of God). The big risk that Angelil took to help Dion launch her musical career really paid off since one of her songs became a local No. 1 single. In 1983, she earned the distinction of becoming first Canadian to have a gold record in France. At the Yamaha songwriting contest in Japan, Dion won a gold medal.
When she recorded her first English language album, Unison, in 1990, she achieved fame in the United States as well as worldwide. Dion’s album was a huge hit that sold more than 1 million copies internationally. Dion, whose name was once only known in Canada, has since achieved worldwide acclaim for her music.
Not only did her career begin to transform for the better, but also the relationship with Angelil also changed. In 1988, Angelil kissed Dion after a show in Dublin. Due to their 26 age difference, they both decided to keep their relationship secret from the public for many years. In 1991, Dion and Angelil became engaged.
When Dion and Angelil got married in 1994 at Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica, their relationship became public. They invited 250 guests to their wedding, but the guests were not the only ones who celebrated as fans worldwide also celebrated their nuptials.
Three years after the world saw Dion find true love with Angelil, Dion helped spread Titanic fever when she sang the theme song from the 1997 film Titanic, “My Heart Will Go On.” The song was so popular that it was always playing on the radio during the late ’90s. “My Heart Will Go On,” a song that became Dion’s signature tune, became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and also won an Academy Award for best song.
When Dion canceled her shows from August of 2014 through March 20, 2015 to help her husband, Angelil, whose throat cancer had returned, she showed the world that her family was just as important as her professional life. On January 14, 2016, Angelil died from throat cancer at the age of 73. Dion, who loved him dearly, was there for him until the end.
When Disney’s new film Beauty and the Beast is released on March 17, girls will want to see the story of the princess who sees beyond appearances to find her prince. Dion is just as profound as the fictional character of Belle in her professional as well as in her personal life. Dion became a member of royalty in the world of music, but she came from very humble beginnings and had to work very hard to get to the top before she met her prince in real life.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]